Vinyl Me, Please – 2019 Gift Guide — give a record club membership & more
The vinyl boom keeps going, with more and more people owning turntables now than any time since the dawn of CDs. Not every town has a record store, unfortunately, but since 2013 record of the month club Vinyl Me, Please has been bringing a record shop style experience to the web with a curated selection of great records from from all over the sonic spectrum, both new and classic. VMP also offers exclusive editions of records and, in some cases, new pressings of albums that you can’t get anywhere else. They have a few vinyl-related things for sale as well, including original books and even hats.
Still looking for a holiday gift for the music lover in your life (even if that’s yourself)? VMP is offering special gift subscriptions to their record club, and we picked out a handful of great records that their store currently has to offer. Check out our gift guide, below.
A membership lets the recipient take full advantage of what Vinyl Me, Please has to offer, with one LP, pressed exclusively for VMP in deluxe packaging with unique extras, sent to them each month, as well as access to exclusive titles in the VMP online store. Your gift recipient also gets two bonus records, an original 12×12″ art print and custom cocktail pairing recipe inspired by each album, and they can choose either Classics (soul, blues and jazz), Rap & Hip Hop, or Essentials (which pulls from all genres and time periods). They also have the option to swap out each month’s record for another of their choosing, if, say, they already own Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix. There are three, six, and twelve-month membership options, and your gift can be emailed or printed. More info, and sign up, here.
TV on the Radio’s 2003’s debut EP, Young Liars, was so fresh, so unlike anything else at the time, so full of promise, it took the Brooklyn band a little while to truly follow it up. Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes was good, but it wasn’t till 2006’s Return to Cookie Mountain that TVotR finally delivered the goods, with such classic tracks as “Wolf Like Me” and “Province.” This edition, exclusive to Vinyl Me, Please, comes on two-color 45-RPM double vinyl and is half-speed mastered for maximum fidelity, and includes a 24-page lyric booklet.
slowthai is one of the brightest new voices in UK rap, and he’s been on the rise on both sides of the Atlantic this year thanks to the strength of his excellent debut album Nothing Great About Britain. It’s a rap/grime album with a punk spirit that makes references to both Dizzee Rascal and the Sex Pistols, and could easily appeal to fans of both. It’s also a snapshot of modern-day Britain, which is in as much a state of unrest as the US right now, which is probably part of why Nothing Great About Britain has felt so impactful over here too. This exclusive edition comes on white with red and blue splatter vinyl.
The Flaming Lips fully transformed themselves from a weirdo psych band capable of a fluke hit like “She Don’t Use Jelly” into the confetti-loving technicolor wizards they are today with their 1999 existential pop masterpiece The Soft Bulletin. This VMP exclusive 20th anniversary edition features trippy lenticular cover art and an exclusive art print designed by frontman Wayne Coyne.
Celebrate 50 years of peace, love, and music with this deluxe edition of that combines the four Woodstock live albums — including iconic performances from Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, The Who, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Sly & The Family Stone and so much more — into one 10-LP vinyl box set. The exclusive VMP edition comes on tie-died colored vinyl, and there’s also a deluxe bundle that comes with a stonewashed “Heavy Rotation” t-shirt and canvas tote.
Ray Charles said he saw little difference between country music and the blues, and he approached the standards on these two albums like he did any other songs, by making them his own. Both volumes are absolute classics. Transferred from the original analog masters, this VMP exclusive edition comes on 180 gram vinyl and is limited to 1000 copies.
As winter approaches, battle the cold weather with the warmth of jazz vibraphonist Joel Ross’ gorgeous debut album KingMaker, which came out earlier this year on the legendary Blue Note label. Joel played on one of last year’s most acclaimed jazz albums, Makaya McCraven’s Universal Beings, and this year he solidified himself as one of the great modern-day bandleaders as well. This is a beautiful sounding album, and this exclusive edition — limited to just 500 copies — comes on off-white vinyl.
Need more classic holiday music to play alongside A Charlie Brown Christmas and A Phil Spector Christmas Gift For You? Christmas in Soulsville features most of the ’60s/’70s Stax Records roster, including Otis Redding, The Staples Singers, Isaac Hayes, Booker T & the MGs, Rufus & Carla Thomas, The Emotions, Albert King and more belting out a mix of classic and now-classic yuletide songs. This VMP exclusive edition comes, appropriately, on red and green starburst vinyl.
If you’re looking to gift someone a rap record with a punk spirit this holiday season, slowthai isn’t your only option. Rico Nasty’s Nasty would be a great choice as well. It came out in 2018, but Rico had a gradual rise and 2019 has really felt like her breakout year. She also released a new album this year, Anger Management, though Nasty is still her most essential album thus far. It’s loaded with several of her best, most memorable songs, and to sweeten the deal, this exclusive edition comes on transparent blue vinyl.
Fiona Apple said she’s “hoping for early 2020″ for the release of her long-awaited new album. Stay tuned for more on that, but in the mean time, the single album she did release this decade — 2012’s essential, best of decade list-dominating The Idler Wheel… — is in its first reissue, on 180g black vinyl.
Beginning in 2017, Vinyl Me, Please embarked on a mission to catalog the best record store in each state. Two years later, they’ve put together this coffee table book to detail their findings and chronicle the state of in-person record shopping across the country. Chicago DJ Mark Farina wrote the forward, and Clay Hickson and Elise Rigollet did the illustration and design that accompanies an essay on each store chosen.
Support a small business this holiday season, whether online or at a store, and thank you to Vinyl Me, Please (and all of you) for always supporting small business BrooklynVegan!